FiursAgricultural Leaders of Michigan recently voiced its support for maintaining crop insurance as an important safety net for farmers and urged Senator Stabenow to protect these vital safeguards as the 2012 Farm Bill is written. Senator Stabenow is holding the first of several 2012 Farm Bill hearings in Michigan on Tuesday, May 31.
ALM called on Senator Stabenow to protect Michigan farmers and spare the crop insurance program from further cuts by fully funding the crop insurance program in the 2012 Farm Bill. Agriculture has already seen a 28% reduction in annual government spending since 2006, and the crop insurance program has contributed more than $6 billion to federal deficit reduction.
ALM believes the top priorities regarding the federal crop insurance program are:
• Protecting the federal crop insurance program, which acts as a sound safety net for farmers instead of harming them by making additional funding cuts;
• Continuing a private-sector-based federal crop insurance program; and
• Expanding crop insurance programs in the 2012 Farm Bill to include more coverage for specialty crops, which will increase the financial safety net for many Michigan farmers.
"Crop insurance provides stability for Michigan farmers - something that is essential in a unique and risky sector like agriculture," says Jessica Godley, crop insurance product manager at GreenStone Farm Credit Services. "To help our farmers mitigate risk and manage their resources effectively, we need a stable farm policy. An insurance program that includes coverage for a large variety of crops and casts a wide safety net is absolutely vital to ensuring a strong future for agriculture."
"Agriculture continues to be one of the few high points of Michigan's economy," says Eric Cook, owner and agent at Spartan Insurance Agency. "At a time when government is facing deep cuts, Michigan agriculture has worked to reduce the deficit while facing sharp declines in funding at the federal level. Crop insurance is not only a cost-effective way to manage both public- and private-sector investments, but also ensures that our farmers will be protected against natural disasters such as floods or drought."
"Senator Stabenow's hearing provides a unique opportunity to address the continued need for sound risk management tools and private-sector assistance for Michigan farmers," says Jim Byrum, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association. "By insuring against volatile production risks through crop insurance, we can guarantee that the independent, family-owned businesses that comprise our agriculture sector continue to thrive for years to come. We look forward to working with Senator Stabenow to develop sound policies and a strong 2012 Farm Bill.
The hearing is at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing, from 9 a.m. - 11 p.m.